The newest University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization (UHERO) report focuses on construction in Hawaiʻi.
After several years of rapid expansion, the pace of building has eased. A number of significant condo and retail projects have wrapped up on Oʻahu, while fewer new buildings have broken ground, resulting in an overall reduction in construction activity and employment. But statewide there remain enough new projects in the pipeline to maintain construction activity near its current level through the end of the decade.
- Residential building has plateaued as the Kakaʻako condo boom eases, but a new wave of towers in the Ala Moana area and growing suburban development should sustain homebuilding near current levels.
- The pace of home buying has accelerated, but the high end of the market is softening.
- Resort renovation and development have been leading components of non-residential construction.
- Despite the recent closure of two big-box stores and the ongoing squeeze from online retailers, there is considerable retail and commercial development planned for the next several years, particularly on Oʻahu.
- Public construction is expected to settle slightly below the ten-year peak reached in 2016.
- Costs to build in Hawaiʻi remain very high, but the plateauing of building activity has reduced the pace of further cost escalation.
- Real income and employment in the construction sector have declined this year.